As a research and development lead for Trustlab Blockchain Innovation Studio, Takunda Mambo’s role is centred around addressing the neglect that faces early childhood development (ECD) in South Africa. This done through a Unicef-backed project startup called Amply. TrustLab, aligned to the United Nations (UN) and using insights from Mambo, is looking to change this neglect of ECD and is already planning to implement its work in other developing countries.
The mandate involves evaluating opportunities for the use of Ethereum blockchain technology to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. TrustLab developed the IXO Protocol — the first of its kind globally — in response to the UN’s call for data usage to improve development outcomes. As part of the company, he is currently implementing South Africa’s first use case of blockchain technology to monitor early childhood development centre attendance, which will, in turn, be used to inform and aid government and donor funding disbursement to children most in need.
Mambo has an extensive background in several areas pertaining to sustainable development in the technology and social development spheres. He’s a doctoral candidate at the University of Cape Town’s Energy Research Centre, undertaking research on the use of mobile phone services to improve the livelihoods of underprivileged communities.
Rural communities are not privy to the service delivery that their city counterparts enjoy, but smartphone penetration and further exploration of access to data may present opportunities for innovation and alternative income streams. Additionally, Mambo is also applying his knowledge at Simanye, an organisation of individuals passionate about creating impact as well as driving profitable businesses; in an increasingly globalised world, finding intersecting points for business and community development is productive for both markets and communities.
Through their work, they develop integrated and inclusive strategies that help businesses grow while also finding ways to benefit customers, employees and the community along with the company. — Sifiso Buthelezi